By Shelly Hed
Your teen is away at college and you’re getting some serious empty-nester pangs whenever you walk by their room. College kids are experiencing homesickness too, though they may not tell you about it. Sending them college care packages might be the perfect vehicle to tell your kid that even while they’re away you’re still thinking of them.
We asked Your Teen’s Facebook parents for recommendations about what to put in a college care package. Here’s what you told us.
According to parents, these are the best care packages for college students.
College is a windstorm of viral infections. Send cold medicines and a dorm first aid kit.
As the semester trucks on, your teen might find themselves falling behind on errands, especially if they don’t have an easy way to leave campus. This might be a problem when college flu season (or worse) hits. They’ll definitely appreciate cold medicines, pain reliever, cough drops and throat lozenges, soft tissues (boxes and convenience packs, too), a thermometer, an ice pack, an extra pack of masks, and whatever else gets your kid through those days where their body feels horrible.
Kitchen products, because they can’t clean their water bottles if they have no soap.
If your college student has their own kitchen, they might find themselves short on dish soap, sponges, and paper towels. They might even realize halfway through the semester that they need a colander or a can opener. Check in with them to see if there’s anything essential they need, like dorm cleaning supplies, and work from there.
Midterms, finals, early morning classes, and late evening study sessions all demand tasty snacks!!!
Brain power needs fuel and the cafeterias are not always open. That’s why sending snacks for college students is always a hit. You can put together a grocery cart for your kid on sites like Amazon or Instacart, and set up a mail delivery to treat them to a bulk package of their favorite foods, healthy or otherwise. If the college or university doesn’t deliver mailed packages directly to the dorm, your college student may need to wait for it a bit at their campus mail service desk. For delivery today, you can place an order on Instacart, which your kid will pick up directly from the driver. Another idea is to treat your kid to a gift card for DoorDash or UberEats, and let them order food from a local restaurant.
Some quick + easy snacks for when they’re in a rush to get to their 8 a.m. classes: granola bars, mini cereal cups, and oatmeal packets. Are they having a rough semester? Consider sending them a bulk pack of their favorite candy as a pick-me-up.
Send your kid some cash, moolah, scratch, dough, greenbacks, cheddar.
Having extra spending money is always a plus, especially for a college student. Kids are always in need of a few bucks when they live on their own. Make a deposit directly onto their debit card or through the postal service, so they can afford an extra coffee when they’re studying or a roll of quarters so they can do their laundry (and not wait until they have access to the machines at home).
Does your kid need to get their study materials organized? Send them some office goods.
Midterms and final exams are careening around the corner. Could your teen use some new stationery for their study notes? Some push pins for their index cards? They might even appreciate a mascot or good luck charm to keep them company at their desk. Whether or not they use these goods, your sentiment will be appreciated — and it serves as a reminder to start studying, too.
Did your college student leave something they need at home?
Did your kid text you a week into the semester to lament that they forgot their favorite shirt at home? Did they leave their favorite mug on their desk? Tuck those treasures into your care package, and know that your teen will appreciate that you remembered.
Send your kid small treasures just to let them know you care.
New bottles of nail polish, a pack of Polaroid film, a little figurine of their favorite animal, a set of gloves for that unexpected first frost — these little things are all appreciated. Just remember to check their school’s list of banned items if they live on campus because some items, like candles, might not be permitted in dorm rooms.
Most of all, check with your teen to see if there’s anything they’re missing. And when you ship a care package to them, make sure they know when to expect it and that they check with their residential services desk if they haven’t received notification of arrival.
Good luck, and have fun making the best college care package for your student. No matter what it looks like, know that your effort is appreciated, and that your kid misses you, too.